Niger is the world’s third largest uranium producer, after Canada and Australia. Uranium accounts for the bulk of foreign earnings in Niger and represented 70% of export revenues in 1997. Niger has two main uranium producing areas, the Arlit and Akouta situated in the north of Niger. French uranium company, Cogema operates both mining concerns. Niger has estimated resources and reserves of over 53 000 t of uranium, producing 3,076 t of uranium in 2002 Production costs are high and uranium products are purchased under special agreements between the Niger government and customers France and Japan, who effectively subsidise the operation. Due to the location of these areas, nearly all of the production is either transported by air/road to Cotonou in Benin.
The Arlit mine in the Air Massif is owned by Société des Mines de l’Aïr (SOMAIR) which has a joint venture with ONAREM (the state owned mineral resources company), Cogema, CFM, Pechiney uranium and Urangesellschaft. Reserves are estimated at containing 34 500 t of uranium and has an installed capacity of 1400 t/year.
The Akouta mine is situated 6km to the south of the Arlit operation. Cie. Minière D’Akouta (COMINAK) owns the mine, a joint venture between Cogema, ONAREM, Overseas Uranium Resources development (OURD) of Japan and the Spanish company, Empresa National del Uranio (10 %). Reserves are estimated at 52 000 t of uranium and has a capacity to produce 2000 t/ year.
Compagnie Miniere d’Akouta, Societé des Mines de l’Air, Societé Miniere de Tassa N’Taghalgue, Société Miniere de Tassa n’Taghalgue :[ Add More ]
Akouta, Anou-Aaren, Arlit, Koma Bangou, Samira Hill, Taza
Through its interests in Cie. Minière D’Akouta and Société des Mines de l’Aïr, Cogema produces uranium from the Arlit and Akouta mines.